How Facebook’s newest update may hurt your brand
Friday, July 01, 2016
Since the beginning of the year, organic reach for brand posts on Facebook has dropped 42 percent. It appears that's just the tip of the iceberg for brands who rely heavily on Facebook.
Recently, Facebook announced a significant change to their algorithm that will undoubtedly impact your brand. Getting back to their roots, Facebook is beginning to feature more posts from friends and family in users' News Feeds. Consequently, posts from news outlets and brand pages will be more limited.
Read on to learn how exactly this will impact your brand, why Facebook is making these changes and how to combat these adverse effects.
Why is Facebook making this change now?
Facebook recently got into hot water about how exactly they choose their trending news stories and compile users' News Feeds. Now, Facebook wants to be clearer about how they rank content.
In their latest announcement, Facebook promised to get back to their founding principle "of connecting people with their friends and families." Now, updates from friends will be ranked higher in News Feeds, so they aren't missed.
By ranking these posts higher, page posts will subsequently be impacted. This means your brand's content could be ranked lower in News Feeds, causing it to be missed entirely by your audience. Facebook has confirmed that "this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline."
Already, media companies' page content is being sorted differently on Facebook. Now, recent posts are rounded up into a single post highlighting only three stories. To reveal additional stories, you have to click "show more."
How much will this affect my brand's content performance?
This update will likely impact your views and referrals. The real question is how much. Since this update is still so new, the details are fuzzy.
Facebook has announced that brands with high numbers of shares will see less impact. The sweet spot is if your brand's shared post is then being liked and commented on.
In essence, Facebook is using shares — and then engagement on those shares — to decide how your content should be ranked in users' New Feeds.
Is there anything I can do to get my Facebook content seen?
Yes! As mentioned above, creating shareable content is a plus. Want to increase your shares in a snap? Schedule one post a week that asks your users to share the content. When you explicitly ask your users to "share," they often do.
From there, create these three types of content that Facebook research has shown consistently performs well.
1. Informative content. When your post shares a bite-sized piece of information, users respond. They learned a new fact in under 10 seconds — and often want to share this knowledge with their friends.
2. Entertaining content. Funny cat videos will always perform well on Facebook. The secret to their success? Users want to laugh and be amused as they scroll through their feed. So, aim to tell your brand's story and messaging in an entertaining way. Your users will instantly want to share it.
3. Authentic content. As we've seen in the past, nothing outperforms authentic brand content. When you create genuine content that captures who you are, you connect with your audience. Often, they'll read the entire piece and even share it with their friends. As authentic content is higher prioritized, any misleading or spam-like content will be more hidden.
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